“Most impactful year to date” | RHSPCA reflects on 2021

Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 9:40 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - 2022 marks the Rockingham-Harrisonburg SPCA’s 50th year anniversary.

The shelter’s executive director Huck Nawaz said in the previous 49 years, 2021 was the RHSPCA’s “most impactful year to date.”

A record high of 1,625 animals found their forever homes in 2021 thanks to the RHSPCA, which is over 400 more animals than it adopted out in 2020.

“The programs made all of that success possible for us. The most impactful for us was the growth in our foster programs,” Nawaz said. “We average over 150 pets in foster throughout the year.”

Nawaz also noted that the shelter’s Community Cat Program helped many felines throughout the year.

This program started in 2021, offering vouchers for cats that live outdoors so owners can get the cats microchipped, altered, and vaccinated. Nawaz said this helps keep the community’s cat population down, therefore reducing the number of cats and kittens they intake at the shelter.

He said he hopes these programs continue to grow in 2022.

“Animals benefit so much from being away from the shelter in a home setting, so the two main focuses are going to be increasing those adoptions, particularly through foster homes for us, hence decreasing that reliance on transfers, and then, of course, decreasing intakes into the shelter for us,” Nawaz said.

A new year brings new goals, and Nawaz said a major goal for the shelter in 2022 is to create sustainability.

“We’re still relying on transfers to other shelters. While we did decrease that number, we did transfer over 400 pets to our partnering shelters,” Nawaz said. “We want to be self-sustaining.”

The shelter’s overall live-release rate was 95% in 2021.

For more information on the RHSPCA and its adoptable animals, click here.

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